Mormon chapels are welcome to all. Sometimes there is some confusion about who can go into what Mormon buildings. Any person is welcome to attend worship meetings, activities or other various gatherings held in Mormon chapels. In fact, tonight my husband is taking some of his co-workers (none of which are of our faith) to our local chapel to play basketball because it’s raining and they had planned on playing basketball today. That’s another thing. A lot of Mormon chapels (in the U.S.) have indoor full-court basketball courts as well as kitchens, children’s play rooms, class rooms, and performance stages.
Our chapels’ primary purpose is for worship on Sundays but the buildings are equipped and used for many different purposes. There are often social gatherings on weekends and during the week for the whole congregation, the women’s organization, the youth groups, the children’s organization, the missionaries, and the priesthood quorums. Sometimes the gatherings are spiritual by nature and sometimes they are just to help us get to know one another better and enjoy some fun time together. Wedding receptions, funerals and other like services are also held at our meeting houses frequently.
I have noticed a few things that are sometimes different about our meeting houses compared to other faiths. First, though we are Christian, we don’t use the cross as the symbol to mark our buildings. This is because, as our former prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley explained, our focus and message is that Christ still lives and although with his death he gave us so much, he was resurrected and continues his mission today.
Another thing that can be different is that our buildings are very simply (though beautifully) decorated. We try to keep the focus of our meetings on the spirit of the message rather than the grandeur of the building. (Other things that are different but not quite as significant are that there is sometimes carpet on the walls, more metal serving dishes than you could ever dream of in the kitchens and mother-baby rooms with super comfy plush rocking chairs. Got you curious enough to check out one of our chapels yet?)
If a friend invites you to an activity or something of the like that is held at one of our chapels, you now have a better idea of what to expect and we hope you feel welcome.